This Space for Rent

Flying vermin pictures of the day

When I have to drop checks off in my bank account, I take part of my lunchtime and walk over to the credit union. Usually I walk down first and cut across to the little park at the south end of SW 2nd (which is a sidewalk instead of a street, thanks to Portland going through a fit of Punic-war style urban renewal in the 1960s.) There's a small piazza here, containing a nice piece of sculpture (Leland #1, by Lee Kelly & Bonnie Bronson), and it makes the 4 block walk to the bank much more pleasant than just walking along Lincoln or (shudder) through the much-less pleasant ADP building plaza and along the Portland Motor Speedway (Arthur Street.)

Today, when I walked into the piazza, I spotted a swallowtail butterfly doing long lazy circles just east of the sculpture, and, not really expecting I'd get anything other than a little leopard-colo(u)red blob, yanked out the camera and tried to take some pictures.

Yes, this one is blurry, but the pictures get better.

To my intense delight, the swallowtail obligingly landed on the piazza, and stayed landed, even when I crouched down and inched so close to it that the camera started to have trouble focussing. It knew I was there, and worked it s way around to look at this funny human-shaped object with a black head and one large clicking glassy eye, but it apparently decided that a North American Lefty Trainspotter was not a threat to traditional butterfly values.

I don't usually carry my telephoto/macro lens with me (I carry the camera in my purse, so when I shovel too many things in there everything sort of rolls around and bumps into each other, and I worry that it would turn the optics into expensive sand. One of these days I do have to bite the bullet and sew a few camera pockets into my purse so the camera, lenses, and any computer junk I might want to carry can travel safely), so it was really an unexpected delight to get these pictures, and that the butterfly would stay still while I spent five minutes slowly inching towards it.

Eventually its self-preservation instinct clicked in (probably when I got the lens so close that it was bumping its wings against it) and it flew away, so I was able to continue to the bank and, eventually, to a place where I could get these pictures off the camera